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Infographic of the Day: What Colors Mean Across 10 Cultures

A massive, comprehensive guide.

colours cultures infographic

Colors are probably the most obvious way that design varies across cultures (a theme that came up in our interview with Frog Design about designing for China). But the funny thing is that for most designers and companies, those color sensibilities often don’t rise past “Red is lucky in China; blue is soothing in the West.” That’s naive, as this superb infographic by David McCandless and Always With Honor shows.

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The chart encompasses 10 different cultures, and 62 emotions (!!!). The cultures are represented by concentric rings, and the emotions are represented by slices of the circle. Thus, if you want to understand about Japanese color sensibilities, you read around the graph. And if you want to learn what colors mean “danger” across cultures, you just read vertically, down section 15:

colours cultures infographic

For a slideshow of McCandless’s previous work, click here.

About the author

Cliff is director of product innovation at Fast Company, founding editor of Co.Design, and former design editor at both Fast Company and Wired.

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